Losing a pet is always devastating, and I have been there so many times. You would like to think it gets easier after a point, but grieving the loss of a pet is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. Losing them feels like losing a limb.
I have been through five losses like this so far, and let me tell you, dealing with pet loss is not easy. At all. Losing my furry best friends has taken a lot out of me, and to date, I am still reeling from the pain. Our pets are our companions, support, and even a shoulder to cry on, they are never “just pets”. They are family.
Why Is The Loss Of A Pet So Painful?
Yes, we know that they have short lives but does that mean it makes grieving a pet easier? No, it does not. No matter how old they are (even if they pass at the old age of 17), it is equally devastating.
They’re always there beside us making us smile and cheering us up. They wait for us to come back home after a long day with excited smiles on their faces and violently wagging tails. They’re always there to lick our tears away whenever we feel sad and cry. They are angels in the form of four-legged furry animals, and that’s why losing a pet hurts so much.
And maybe, that’s why we need to take pet loss seriously. Not everyone understands, especially people who have never experienced the love of pets. But the loss of a pet is sometimes even more painful than losing a family member.
Now, let us talk about some of the potentially best ways when it comes to coping with the loss of a pet.
7 Ways To Cope With The Loss Of A Pet And Heal Your Broken Heart
1. Take your time and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Your pet was a very important part of your life, and losing them is not an easy thing to go through. So take your time to grieve and mourn their loss. There’s no shame in remembering your pet and mourning them. Take as much time as you need to deal with this, and don’t let anyone tell you when you should move on.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself when it comes to dealing with this; there’s no specific time frame for this. The process of grieving can never be hurried and end after a specific time. So grieve the way you want to and for as long as you want to.
2. Don’t beat yourself up thinking you could have done more to save them.
When we lose a loved one, we always feel that we could have done more to save them. We are racked by guilt, thinking that maybe we didn’t do enough. Even though these thoughts are normal, don’t let them push you to a dark place. Don’t think that you could have done more of this or more of that.
You did everything you could. You exhausted all your options and tried to save your beloved pet, and you left no stone unturned in trying to make them feel better. Trust me, your pet knows how hard you tried, and they know how hard you fought for them. It was simply their time, and they are at peace now.
3. Talk to people who have lost pets and who understand what you’re going through.
Sharing your pain with someone who has been through the same thing can be very comforting and cathartic. They will understand exactly what you are going through, and by sharing each other’s pain and experiences you will feel that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Joining a support group might also be a good idea, as you will be among people who are going through the same thing as you. Having supportive people and a supportive community around you can help you tremendously when it comes to dealing with your grief.
4. Try writing your feelings down on paper.
Journaling can be a very good idea when it comes to dealing with the loss of a pet. Writing your feelings down on paper is one of the best ways to heal after losing a pet. Trust me, I have been there and done that and it really does help.
Something about writing down your thoughts, feelings, pain, and trauma is soothing and comforting. Through journaling, you can express your unfiltered and raw thoughts which might not be possible when you’re speaking with someone else. You can also build a scrapbook filled with pictures, anecdotes, and happy memories you shared with your sweet angel.
5. Volunteer at an animal shelter and spend time with some furry friends.
When you are coping with pet loss, one of the best things you can do to heal is to spend time at an animal shelter. When you give some love to a shelter animal, you get that love back tenfold.
However, if you feel like you are not ready yet to spend time with other dogs, then that’s okay too. For some people, spending time with other dogs proves to be therapeutic, but for some, it makes the grieving process more difficult. If you belong to the second category, then give yourself some time before you can hang out with other furry pals.
6. Don’t rush into replacing your pet with another one.
Many times, I have seen people immediately get another pet after they have lost one. They try to grieve the loss of a pet by instantly replacing them with another one, but in my opinion, this might not be the best approach.
It’s important to take your time to heal and move on before you bring in another pet to make up for the one you lost. You may find yourself feeling triggered whenever you see your new pet, or you may feel devastated because you miss your previous one terribly.
So it’s always a good idea to wait for a bit, deal with your pain, take your time, and then when you’re emotionally ready, get another pet.
7. Create a memorial for your pet.
Firstly, if you have children talking to your child about the loss of a pet is incredibly important. And secondly, your child can play a huge part in creating the perfect memorial for your departed angel.
If you have buried them, you can put in a nice headstone with a picture of theirs, or you can frame a photo of theirs and hang it in your home or office, or you can also make a photo collage of them and keep it with you.
Related: How To Cope With The Loss Of A Pet
The loss of a pet is always going to be painful, but your pet would never want you to suffer, even for them. These angels have always loved you with all their hearts and would want you to remember them and carry them in your heart, but also be happy.
Trust me when I say this, but they are right beside you with their head on your lap like always. They still love you and they will always be with you, no matter how many years pass.